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Events, gatherings and activities

Published Updated

Organisers of culture and sporting events must follow the rules about number of participants and social distance.

Organisers of culture and sporting events must follow the rules about number of participants and social distance.


This article describes

  • recommendations and requirement for events,
  • how the risk of transmission at events and gatherings can be evaluated and which measures to reduce risk are appropriate.

The advice is general and should be considered together with the current regulations and the recommendations from the Directorate of Health. 

Number restrictions at events and gatherings. (It must be possible to keep a distance of 1 metre for all types of gatherings)

Type of gathering / event

Number 

Examples

Private gatherings in own home

Up to 5 guests in addition to
those living in household (recommendation)

A family with many children can be invited even though they are more than five. Children in childcare centres and primary school can invite their cohort e.g. for a birthday party.

Private gatherings in a public place or in rented or borrowed premises

Up to 20 people

Birthday party, wedding, baptism, funeral, company party etc.

Indoor events without fixed seats

Up to 50 people

Church, mosque, concert, local performance, conference, parent meetings at school, indoor markets and trade fairs

Indoor events with fixed seats

Up to 200 people

Cinema, opera, concert, theatre, conference etc.

Outdoor events without fixed seats

Up to 200 people

Sports events, outdoor concerts, outdoor markets and trade fairs, switching on Christmas tree lights, pop-up concerts, etc.

Outdoor events with fixed seats

Up to 600 people, in groups of up to 200 people (assumes at least 2 metres distance between the groups)

Sports events, outdoor concerts, etc.

Local stricter measures

Municipalities can introduce stricter measures locally based on the transmission situation both for private gatherings and for events. See your municipality's website for information about local measures.

Private gatherings

This advice applies to all private gatherings, both indoors and outdoors.

In private homes, gardens or cabins, you should not have more than 5 guests in addition to household members. If all the guests are from the same household, there can be more. This means that two families can meet even if they have many children.

This assumes that:

  • people who are sick do not participate, even if they have only mild symptoms
  • the room is large enough for guests to stay 1 metre apart if they are not from the same household or equivalently close
  • guests can wash their hands or use hand disinfectant if needed.

The restriction of not having more than 5 guests does not apply to childcare centre or primary school cohorts, so that the entire cohort can be invited home for a children's birthday, for example.

Everyone is recommended to reduce their total number of contacts, so that you are with fewer people in social settings, for a shorter time and not with too many different people during a week.

Events

Regulated requirements

By events, the regulations refer to the following gatherings in public places or in premises and outdoor areas that are rented or borrowed, including hotels, community centres, assembly halls and conference halls:

  1. sporting events, including tournaments, cups and matches, but not organised training or training matches 
  2. cultural events, including concerts, exhibition openings, opera, ballet, theatre and cinema, but not organised training, rehearsals or exams
  3. seminars, conferences, courses and other professional gatherings, including dining without serving of alcohol, but not meetings or gatherings that are part of ordinary work or education at school or university
  4. religious and non-religious gatherings and ceremonies, including weddings, funerals, christenings and confirmations
  5. exhibitions and temporary markets, but not flea markets to raise money for voluntary organisations
  6. private gatherings; gatherings for family, friends and acquaintances or social gatherings related to work or school, including events or ceremonies, parties and dining with serving of alcohol related to seminars, conferences, courses and other professional gatherings.

Number of participants at private gatherings (indoors and outdoors)

For private gatherings there can be up to 20 guests. Private gatherings are where family, friends and acquaintances, school pupils or colleagues can gather in social events (e.g. birthday parties, baptisms, weddings, school balls or work parties) in a public place or in rented or borrowed premises. See point 6 above for the definition of a private gathering.

Number of participants at other events (indoors and outdoors)

It is allowed with events in a public place for up to:

  • 50 people at the same time indoors where the audience does not sit in fixed seats
  • 200 people indoors where everyone in the audience sits in fixed seats
  • 200 people outdoors where the audience does not sit in fixed seats
  • 600 people outdoors where the audience sits in fixed seats, divided into groups / cohorts of up to 200 people. There must be at least two metres distance between the cohorts and there must be at least one metre between the participants in each cohort.

At sporting events for people under the age of 20, participants, guardians, spectators and others who are present without responsibilities during the event, shall be counted in the total number of people.

At "open events" that often take place outdoors, such as switching on Christmas tree lights or pop-up concerts, the rules for events also apply. If these events are to be carried out, the event area must be physically delimited (within a fenced area, an area surrounded by barricades etc.) Delimitation is necessary to be able to limit the number of participants and be able to register participants to have an overview of who is present.

Number of participants at events that last over time

For events that last for a longer time, cohorts with up to 50/ 200 participants can be replaced during the day. The cohorts must be changed in a way that meets infection control requirements and there must be no contact between the cohorts.

Employees are in addition to the number of participants

Employees or contractors who are responsible for the implementation of an event are not counted as part of the number of participants. Employees and organisers can be the same for multiple cohorts.

Fixed seating

The term "fixed seating" is used both when it comes to regulating the number of people who can be present at an event and the distance between people.

Fixed seats are typically seats in cinemas, theatres, stadiums etc. Benches are not considered to be fixed seats, as the benches are not individual seats and it is easier to move them closer to each other. This means that benches in churches, sports halls etc., are not considered to be fixed seats. Set places of prayer or similar, for example, in Muslim denominations, are also not considered to be fixed seats.

In local guidelines, the term "fixed (assigned) seats" is sometimes used. This should not be confused with the national rules for events with fixed seats.

  • More about what is considered to be fixed seats can be found on the Government's website.

Distance

Participants shall keep a distance of at least one metre between people who do not live in the same household or are in their closest circle of contacts, and the distance should be maintained during the entire event. The organiser shall ensure that there is a metre between seats from shoulder to shoulder.  The organiser shall not carry out activities that require less distance between performers or participants than this. 

The distance from face to face is most important. Standing back-to-back, or behind each other as in a queue, has less risk of transmission, but  distance should still be maintained. 

  • One vacant seat between fixed seats between spectators in the same row of seats will be considered a sufficient distance.
  • People from the same household or equivalent close contacts can sit together.
  • It is not possible for people to sit in more than half of the fixed seats, unless everyone can keep at least 1 metre distance in all directions to people in another household.

Exemptions from distance requirements

Children and young people who are in the same cohort in childcare centre or primary school are exempt from the distance requirement for events. Some other groups can also be exempt from the distance requirement at an event if it is necessary for the activity to be carried out normally, see the COVID-19 regulations §13 c for which groups are exempt.

No exemptions can be made from the distance requirement for the audience or spectators at the event. The exemption only applies during the ongoing activity, and it is important that the participants relate to each other according to the current infection control advice.

Requirements of the organiser

A person or company must be appointed as the organiser with responsibility for the event meeting the requirements of the COVID-19 regulations. Those who are present must be informed about who is the organiser and who can be contacted with questions about infection control.

The organiser is responsible for:

  • having an overview of who is present, in order to assist the municipality in the event of subsequent contact tracing. If it is necessary to make a list of participants with contact details for this purpose, this should be deleted after 14 days. The organiser shall inform those present that an overview is being made.
  • implementing measures to ensure that people who are sick do not participate in the event
  • following relevant standards for infection control
  • ensuring that distance requirements and infection control measures are followed throughout the event

Events that are licensed to serve alcohol shall have table service. 

Events that are not included in the regulations about events

Flea markets to generate income for voluntary organisations are not included in the regulations for events. However, the general requirements of at least one metre distance between people who are not in the same household and good hygiene should be maintained when flea markets are arranged.

General measures to reduce transmission risk

Planning and risk assessment

All organisers need to make a plan to ensure good infection control management. As an organiser, you must have sufficient capacity and resources for good implementation.

The organiser must carry out a risk assessment and decide whether it is justifiable to hold the event. Therefore, it is important to read the current advice for infection control. See the table for risk assessments below. 

For larger events, contact the local health authorities for questions about implementation.  The organiser should make a risk assessment and make an implementation plan before meeting with local health authorities. Together with the local healthcare service, a plan should be made for how the suspected infected people shall be handled. Assess the consequences for people who become ill or close contacts who depend on flights or public transport for travel home. For these, there may be a need for isolation / quarantine in hotels.

In the case of "open events", the organiser should, in addition to planning for the event itself, also consider the risk that the event will attract a larger number of people outside the limited area and whether this will involve a risk of transmission.

Information to employees and participants

  • Provide information in advance that people with symptoms of respiratory tract infection should not attend the event. This also applies to people who are in home isolation or quarantine. See Social distance, quarantine and isolation
  • Provide information about

Assessing the venue

Participants must be able to keep a distance of 1 metre throughout the entire event, so you must assess the available area within the premises you will use. As a rule of thumb, estimate 4 m2 per person. In rooms where people will sit during the event (e.g. at a table or in a hall), the space requirement may be somewhat smaller.

Singing / shouting among the audience can lead to increased droplet secretion (spit) and therefore an increased risk of infection, so take this into account when assessing the space requirement.

Ventilation

Rooms with poor ventilation and high occupancy can increase the risk of transmission. However, it is uncertain whether increased ventilation fan speed will reduce the risk of infection, so normal ventilation speed used daily for the building is recommended. Where there is no mechanical ventilation, open the windows before and during the event.

Measures to limit contact

Avoid congestion where participants are expected to form queues or gather in groups. Examples of measures include: 

  • Clear marking (e.g. tape on the floor, marks on the ground etc.) 
  • Staggered meeting times/different meeting places, clearly marked with colour-coded signs or tape, etc.
  • Divide participants into smaller groups to reduce the number of contacts. This will aid work with subsequent contact tracing and prevents too many people being followed up with testing or quarantine.

Hand hygiene and cough etiquette

Cleaning

Tools for organisers

As an aid to the organisers, a template has been developed for risk assessment of events and a checklist to ensure that infection control measures are in place. 

Download the template for risk assessment and checklist in Word or pdf: 

Events at venues serving food and drink

See the guidelines for evaluating events in restaurants and bars on the Norwegian Directorate of Health's website.

Events and activities of longer duration for children and adolescents

The general advice for events described above also applies to events and activities for children and young people. By events and activities of longer duration we mean daytime activities lasting several consecutive days or that include overnight accommodation. 

Although events with up to 50/ 200 people are permitted, at events for children it is recommended to divide participants into smaller groups to make it easier to maintain general infection control measures, as described in Guidelines for infection control in childcare centres and schools (Directorate of Education and Training). The same applies for activities that are not defined as events.

Group size

The number of children/adolescents in a group should be adjusted according to the type of activity, age, development, need for participant supervision and how many adult supervisors are needed to conduct the activity. Generally, the size of the groups should not exceed 20 people. For activities for younger children (primary school and younger) the size of groups should be reduced even further.

Fixed participants in groups

Where possible, groups should have the same participants throughout the entire event, and mixing of groups should be avoided. This means that the groups should be separated when conducting activities that demand a certain proximity between the participants, for example, sleeping, eating etc. 

Parent/ guardian participation

Guardians should avoid staying in common areas associated with the event / activity beyond that necessary for delivery and collection. Parents should also keep at least 1 metre distance to other children and adults.

Delivering/ collecting

Participants should be encouraged not to attend the event / activity before it is scheduled to start. Participants should leave the activity area at the end of the event / activity to avoid gatherings in oversized groups with the result that the distance recommendations are not followed. 

Everyone should be encouraged to use alternatives to public transport to and from the activity. If shared transport is used, the infection control advice should be followed, including trying to keep to the groups the children are in for the activity.

More information about infection control and organised sporting activities

For more information on infection control advice in connection with organised sports activities, see Sport and training.  Several of the individual cultural, sports and activity associations also have additional information related to the corona outbreak on their websites.

Exemption from distance requirements for children and adolescents

Children and adolescents who are in the same cohort in childcare centre or primary school are exempt from the distance requirement for events. For certain events and activities, people under the age of 20 years may be exempt from the distance requirements where this interferes with the normal performance of the activity, in accordance with the COVID-19 regulations.

This applies to:

a) people under the age of 20 who participate in summer school, summer camps, activity camps, cultural school, school camp, end-of-term ceremonies and other school-like leisure services, as well as those responsible for the event

b) dancers, musicians and performing artists under the age of 20 during cultural events, if they usually practise or rehearse together and

c) athletes under the age of 20 who participate in sporting events or competitions that are carried out within the same sporting district boundary, or within the same region if a region is used as a geographical boundary, as well as support staff and referees.

Similarly, children / adolescents at activities that are not considered an event can be exempt from the recommendation to keep a distance of 1 metre if they socialise normally, for example a school class, training group etc.

Checklist and tools for organisers

You can download the risk assessment table or the checklist for events of longer duration for children and adolescents here (PDF or Word):

History

23.11.2020: Updated with advice about open events, such as switching on Christmas tree lights.

16.11.2020: Corrected sentence: 600 people outdoors where the audience sits in fixed seats, divided into groups / cohorts of up to 200 people. 

13.11.2020: Updated paragraph about fixed seating.

09.11.2020: Updated article according to new, stricter measures, see specification 05.11.2020
30.10.2020: 
Text updated with information about the changes that apply from 28 October (announced at government press conference 26 October)

13.10.2020: Removed the sentence: "Alcohol cannot be served after midnight and should not be consumed after 00.30 a.m." Changed from 10 to 14 days and added second sentence:  "If it is necessary to make a list of participants with contact details for this purpose, this should be deleted after 14 days. The organiser shall inform those present that an overview is being made."

12.10.2020: Updated text with changes that come into effect today, removing "from 12th October.." 

07.10.2020: General updates to text as per Norwegian version. Updated files. 

05.10.2020: Updated files under "Checklist" and "Risk assessment"

16.09.2020 Updated files under "Checklist" and "Risk assessment"

27.08.2020 Added sentence under Events, point 1 "A training match will only be considered to be an event if it has spectators."

21.08.2020 added sentence about table service when alcohol is served

17.08.2020 Added paragraph about flea markets. 

14.08.2020 Updated advice regarding changes and specifications in the COVID-19 regulations, and new paragraph about private gatherings.

10.08.2020 Added sentence about people under the age of 20 being exempt from the distance requirements during sports events within their sporting district - under "Events for up to 200 people."

16.07.2020: Added link about safe service at buffets and salad bars

26.06.2020: added section about exemption from distance for matches and competitions. Added section about food-serving venues 

18.06.2020: Updated with more details about advice about keeping a physical distance.

15.06.2020
Information about events and summer activities for children and adolescents, plus advice about planning and risk assessment is revised and added, in addition to checklist and risk assessment for events for adults and children/adolescents under 20 years.

12.06.2020
Added that from 15th June 2020 it is allowed to have events in public places for up to 200 people, which events this applies to and which groups are exempt from the physical distance requirements in order for the event to be performed as normal. Added that it will not be opened for events for more than 500 people before 1st September at the earliest. Removed the paragraphs "Events and summer activities of longer duration for children and adolescents", "Planning" and "Organisation."

29.05.2020
Removed amusement parks from section about arrangements with over 500 people as per Norwegian version.

20.05.2020
Added information about "Events and summer activities of longer duration for children and adolescents" 

11.05.2020
Added information about planning and risk assessments.

08.05.2020
Updated as per Norwegian version. Advice about planning and risk assessments will be translated soon.

04.05.2020
Updated according to Directorate of Health's recommendations published on 30th April, and link to Infection Control for Music Practice. 

26.04.2020
Updated text with new advice from Directorate of Health about events in the summer. 

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